Work And Play: 3 Degrees That Would Allow You To Travel Regularly Reply

Starting a career doesn’t mean you have to settle down. Frequent travel is becoming an occupational feature for professionals in a variety of industries. As private companies and public organizations continue to expand their reach on a global scale, there are many different types occupations that require travel on a regular basis. Individuals who crave an on-the-go lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to check out new destinations should consider one of these 3 degrees to prepare themselves for their dream job.

Diplomatic Studies

Virtually all nations on the planet employ numerous diplomatic staff to maintain relationships with other countries and international organizations, but there is also a rising demand for the skill-set in the private sector. Students of diplomatic studies often focus on a particular aspect of their field as they advance their degree, like international commerce, issues regarding terrorism or cyber diplomacy. Students who are interested in a career in diplomacy should also consider learning one or more foreign languages to establish niche expertise. Schools like Norwich University offer advanced degrees to students, including a diplomacy degree with several specialization options.

Accounting And Business Management

The language of finance and business is spoken around the globe. Companies frequently span national borders to take advantage of new markets and grow their enterprise even more. Businesses need educated financial professionals to study and connect with suppliers, potential acquisitions and other entities associated with their employer. Public accounts employed by regulatory or other government agencies can also find themselves on the road frequently. They may travel to different locations to conduct thorough reviews and audits of a particularly organization, which requires access to physical files. Business management consultants also spend a lot of time on the road, since they usually work on temporary contracts with a number of different companies.

Journalism And Public Relations

Whether you work for the media or with them, there are many positions that involve travel to a wide range of destinations. Journalists may spend months or years in other countries reporting on diplomatic developments or an emerging news story in the region. Professionals who bend their career towards public relations may also find themselves traveling to manage events, connect with media influencers and perform other essential responsibilities for their clients. Individuals interested in this career may pursue a degree in journalism, public relations or similar communications program.

If you want travel to be a part of your professional life, then there are plenty of options to consider. While there will certainly be opportunities to enjoy fresh scenery and exciting destinations, these careers are also demanding and can be stressful from time to time. A career on the road is not for everyone and can have a negative impact on family life, so it’s a good idea to discuss this decision with loved ones before launching off on a new adventure.


Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Classroom Security: 5 Ways Schools Can Improve Safety Reply

Whether you’re an educator, administrator, or otherwise employed by a school, safety is a prime concern. When staff and students are endangered, the quality of education suffers. Parents are also impacted. Here’s what schools can do to be more secure.

 

1. Tighten building and campus security.

Police can identify vulnerable areas on school property and recommend upgrades. The school complex can be surrounded with fences made of welded wire or tubular steel, topped with spikes. This type of barrier is hard to cut and climb, as opposed to conventional chain link fencing. Also, avoid placing objects near fences that facilitate climbing.

Ensure that school property is well lit. Appoint guards at outside doors, and designate separate doors for entering and exiting buildings. Also, install cameras and intercoms at these locations. Assign a guard to patrol the premises.

Always have adults stationed in hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, and lunchrooms, as an authoritative presence. Keep playgrounds well-supervised, and monitor activity at bus stops.

 

2. Devise and practice emergency action plans.

Train school staff in using the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS). Should a national disaster occur, the NIMS directs school administrators to federal agencies and departments appointed to respond. The ICS details procedures for communicating and safeguarding school occupants, buildings, and equipment.

Your school should follow ICS directives during:

  • Disease outbreaks
  • Students reported missing
  • Lab accidents involving hazardous materials
  • The presence of criminals and hostile intruders
  • Fire and weather disasters
  • Incidents on campus property and at school events, such as graduations, sports games, festivals, and drills

The Department of Homeland Security recommends that local and state governments adopt two codes devised by the National Fire Protection Administration. Entitled “NFPA 1600” and “NFPA 1561,” these standards specify actions to take during emergencies. The first code describes the requisites of an action plan while the second explains how to meet them.

You can help your school administration to respond effectively to a national emergency by reviewing the NIMS, ICS, NFPA 1600, and NFPA 1561. Implementing these directives can also protect your institution from litigation.

The Crisis Prevention Institute offers a free download of lifesaving tips for emergency preparedness. Information is based on research by Safe Havens International. To practice action plans, conduct drills that mimic emergency situations. Training should involve students, teachers, custodians, and administrative staff.

Keep building blueprints available for emergency responders. During a campus emergency or disaster, they’ll need to know the school layout and location of fuses and utility equipment.

 

3. Use protective technology and layouts inside classrooms.

Install panic alarms at teachers’ desks that sound in the Administrative Office. Also, equip each classroom with an intercom system that connects with Administration. Another option is giving staff two-way radios.

Teachers should position their desks far from doors. Increasing distance gives teachers more time to act against an intruder. Also, use furniture near the door to form a hallway into the room. Bookcases and cabinets can serve as a wall, corralling a perpetrator.

Portable furniture can barricade a room, preventing an attacker from entering. At a school in a dangerous neighborhood, a teacher may want to keep the classroom door locked, except at the start and conclusion of periods.

In case of evacuation, teachers must know how to operate classroom windows. If they can’t be opened, teachers need tools to break windows. All building occupants should be aware of the nearest exit. Also necessary is familiarity with overall building layout.

 

4. Involve school counselors.

Bully Prevention Programs

Counselors can implement the PATHS curriculum, a program that reduces aggression and behavioral problems in children. Information and activities are provided for both students and parents. Schools receive evaluation kits by which they can measure success.

The PATHS curriculum calls for counselors to hold sessions two to three times weekly, for at least 20 minutes per class. Counselors receive all materials, lessons, and instructions to conduct the program. Students learn empathy expression, self-control techniques, problem-solving, peaceful conflict resolution, and ways to have positive peer relationships. The curriculum also teaches skills in listening, reading, and writing.

PATHS includes a model for preschool and kindergarten children. This curriculum teaches emotional awareness, self-control, problem-solving, and social skills. It also promotes confidence and friendships. Materials are provided for reading, writing, storytelling, science, math, drawing, singing, and thinking skills.

 

Intervention

Counselors can hold student meetings, urging kids to band together to face off bullies. Hecklers often back down quickly when met with verbal opposition. Victims should promptly report berating behavior. Although they may fear a bully will attack harder if identified, assure victims they’ll be protected by authorities.

Counselors must emphasize that students should never counter aggressive behavior with violence. The first response should be standing beside a harassed student. Next, supporters should tell a bully to back off, and warn of being reported.

Another way to thwart abuse is asserting the admirable qualities of the targeted student. Meanwhile, bystanders must quickly bring badgering to the attention of school authorities.

When bullies are identified, they should be brought to the school advisor for counseling. Administration may also need to enforce discipline. Heckled students need the counselor’s support.

 

Recovery

In the aftermath of a crisis, counselors should provide therapy to affected students. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps kids mentally and emotionally process their reactions. This type of therapy involves replacing negative thought patterns with a positive mindset.

Also taught are coping strategies to counteract the effects of being attacked. For example, kids may need to rebound from being labeled fat, stupid, or ugly. Then, they can recover self-esteem, confidence, and strength.

 

5. Foster a close-knit school community.

The best way to deter violence, drugs, and bullying is to maintain a supportive environment. In low-income communities, quality schools fill both material and emotional needs. Many institutions offer free meals, clothing, counseling, health screenings, and onsite medical care to students and families.

Teachers who show genuine concern for students tend to receive their cooperation. Kids who feel valued are more likely to succeed academically and socially than those treated poorly by school staff. Ignored students may go to great lengths to get attention.

You can promote unity at your school by offering classes that teach multicultural perspectives. Kids learn to respect and admire differences, rather than ridicule them. Also, invite parents to events that celebrate cultural diversity. Examples are concerts, fairs, craft workshops, and meals featuring international cuisine.

Teachers should identify student strengths, talents, and interests, and find ways to develop them. When educators model virtues like patience, empathy, and forgiveness, students follow suit.

The Good School Toolkit can help you create a caring school culture. Material is divided into three segments, spanning an 18-month period. School staff can choose from 60 activities designed to:

  • Improve classroom management
  • Effect non-violent discipline
  • Develop mutual respect
  • Promote learning

Among the engaging materials are cartoon booklets and posters. The Good School Toolkit is available as a free download.

Safe Education

To protect staff and students:

  • Tighten building and campus security
  • Devise and practice emergency action plans
  • Use protective technology and layouts inside classrooms
  • Involve school counselors
  • Foster a close-knit school community

Attending school should prompt eagerness rather than fear. When students feel safe, they can focus on learning. A supportive school environment prepares kids to succeed in life. You’re a vital cog in the wheel of the education system. What a profound difference you’ll make!


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Speedy Degree: Best Tips to Help You Finish Your Program In Record Time Reply

speedy-degree-best-tips-to-help-you-finish-your-program-in-record-timeWhile college can be a great experience, every extra semester you spend taking classes will cost quite a bit of money. This has left many people wondering what they can do to complete their courses and graduate as quickly as possible.

Take One or Two Extra Courses Each Semester

Even though graduation rates are up, many students now take college classes for six or more years. One of the most straightforward ways to reduce the amount of time you spend in college is to add one or two classes to your schedule every semester. Some colleges require students to sign waivers or maintain a certain GPA before taking additional classes.

Test Out of Your Basic Classes

Depending on what institution you have been accepted to, you might have the option of testing out of basic classes. This is especially popular among students who have recently taken advanced classes in high school. Those who complete difficult classes in high school should be able to bypass various college courses by taking a handful of competency tests.

Start an Online Program

Trying to complete college as quickly as possible can be very stressful when taking traditional courses. An online program could save you hours every week by cutting back on how much time you must spend driving to and from class. The work that must be done for these classes can also be completed around your own schedule instead of a rigid schedule set by the school. There are online programs for pretty much any degree out there. There are some for education-related careers, engineering, and science. There are even accelerated msn programs that you can participate in online if you’re wanting to go the healthcare route.

Take Classes Throughout the Year

Summer school used to be something that students dreaded, but off-season classes are an absolute necessity for many college students. The vast majority of colleges and universes offer ongoing courses with as many as six full semesters throughout the year. While it can be stressful, taking classes nonstop could halve your total time spent in school.

Obsessively Organize Your Study Area

With so much work to be done in the next few years, you must become obsessed with organization. Every student needs a very organized study area where they can relax, take a deep breath, and then focus on the task in front of them. This area should be free from distractions and exclusively used to get work done.

In addition to these few tips, you can also speak with your counselor about earning credits with your job. Many companies now offer internship and externship programs to students in exchange for course credits. This could potentially save you thousands over the course of your college career.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Top of the Class: Why Diversity Matters in Your Classroom 1

top-of-the-class-why-diversity-matters-in-your-kids-classroomLearning the importance of diversity should be a part of every child’s education. There are several ways that diversity could benefit your students’ experience. Here are a few of the main reasons why diversity matters in your kid’s classroom and what you can do to encourage more.

Cultural Awareness

If your classroom is full of kids from other cultural backgrounds, they will have a better opportunity to learn about the world. Learning about different languages, traditions, and other important cultural aspects can shape any child’s mind for the better. And what better way to learn than from their friends in the classroom?

Sensitivity toward Others

Diversity also teaches children how to be more sensitive toward others. Some cultures and religions are known to have certain rules of etiquette that may be different than yours and your child’s, and learning about these rules and how to respect them will foster a better sense of compassion toward other people.

Better Preparedness for a Higher Education

Being exposed to a diverse school setting at an early age can help make your child more prepared to earn a degree in higher education in the future. Your child will have the chance to learn new life skills from people of different backgrounds, which can be especially useful when the time comes to start applying for colleges.

Improved Social Life

Children in diverse school settings have a better chance of making a variety of new friends. Having a strong network of friends will enable your son or daughter to learn better communication and problem-solving skills and can even boost your child’s self-esteem.

Sharper Creative Thinking Skills

Those with a masters in higher education will often say creative thinking skills can be improved when in a diverse environment. Your child will be able to look at problems from different angles and perspectives and come up with more effective solutions. Diversity will teach your child how to draw upon different influences to solve problems and not just view these issues through a single-focus lens.

Combatting Cultural Stereotypes

All too often, people tend to adopt stereotypical views of different cultures, and these negative beliefs can create animosity among different groups. If your child is able to learn about other cultures from an early age, they will be less likely to adopt these stereotypical views later on.

Start by Learning Diversity Yourself

The first step to successful diversity in your classroom begins with you. Learn about various cultures and points of view, particularly those that belong to your individual students. Knowing their holidays, beliefs, and values will give you a well of knowledge to pull from and help students find out these things for themselves. Encourage students to ask each other questions about their values.

Appreciate Individuality and Cultivate Respect

Knowing is only half the battle. You must foster a spirit of acceptance and individuality in your classroom. Encourage your students to be proud of their individual values and cultures, but to accept others’ as valuable as well. This means forbidding judgmental remarks and, as appropriate, gearing your lessons toward multiculturalism as needed. As you plan your curriculum, add perspectives from other cultures into your teachings; celebrate your students’ traditions and allow them to explain aspects of it that are important to them. This will give an ongoing reminder to your students that everyone comes from diverse circumstances, and that diversity is something to be proud of and embrace.

Being in a diverse school setting can help your students. Having the ability to understand people of different backgrounds while learning new life skills can be used to build a brighter future filled with tolerance and understanding.


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

How to Utilize Your Degree to Help Save the World Reply

how-to-utilize-your-degreeYou may not be able to literally save the world, but you most likely want to use the degree that you’ve obtained to make a difference. You want to be a light in the lives of other people and a source of positivity and inspiration. The following are four degrees that you can use to perform your world-saving activities and some ways that you can make use of them:

Degree in Diplomacy

People who graduate from diplomacy programs have a special set of skills that they can use for people in this country or another. They are masters at communicating with other people and solving a wide variety of problems. Such people would be best in jobs such as publicists, foreign outreach specialists and project grant stewards. Project grant stewards take control of certain projects and help people to get the funds they need for them. You can make a difference in any of those positions.

Degree in Nursing

A nursing degree can help a person to serve others and “save” others in many ways. A person who has this kind of degree can work in a hospital, veterinarian’s office, nursing home, mental health institution and a number of other places. Such a person can also work as a home health aide and provide people with encouragement and assistance with everyday duties. Families truly appreciate someone who can help them care for their ill loved ones. It would be an amazing task for you if you have a heart of gold.

Human Relations Degree

A human relations degree is good for a person who wants to work as a counselor. Counselors can fit into a myriad of situations. Examples of some of the jobs that the human relations degree can get are jobs such as the guidance counselor at a school or the human relations specialist for an employer. This person serves others by helping them to achieve their goals and to deal with their conflict head on.

A Counseling Degree

Finally, a counseling degree is an amazing degree for someone who would like to “save” people who have problems that they need to work out. Counselors can work in private offices, institutions, online and more. Furthermore, they can help with domestic violence issues, substance abuse, childhood trauma and the like. They can assist with career goals and life coaching, as well.

The opportunity to contribute to making the world a better place is still available. Any of the above-mentioned degrees can put someone closer to achieving the tasks. There are even tons of other degrees out there that can help you change the world. This list is just scratching the surface.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys tennis and spending time with her family. Kara recommends looking into diplomacy programs for more information on degrees that can help save the world.

5 Research-Backed Actions that Will Increase Your Chances of Success in College Reply

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of new college students graduate within four years and barely 60 percent graduate within six years.

People fail to graduate for so many reasons, but achieving success in college isn’t as complicated as most people think. The following five actions are proven by research to increase your chances of success in college:

  1. Join a Study Group

Fans of the Game of Thrones TV series are familiar with the saying, “the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” This couldn’t be truer when in college, especially when it comes to studying!

One of the most important things you can do to help your chances of success in college is to join a study group. Research shows that being part of a well-organized study group can increase a college student’s chances of success; a particular study of 110 students documented an average increase of 5.5 points in the final exams of students who were in a study group compared to those who weren’t.

  1. Don’t Joke With Your Daily Sleep Requirement

Many college students believe that the key to success is to burn the midnight oil, but research disagrees.

Scientists have found that lack of sleep impairs attention and working memory, and that it can also affect attention and decision-making. Furthermore, researchers have found that sleeping right after you study is the best way to make sure you recall what you study.

Proper sleeping habits won’t only help you overcome college stress, it will also make recall — and as a result increase your chances of success in tests and exams — extremely easy.

  1. Be Active Involved in Your College Education

In a study of 25,000 college students, researchers found that students who spend 40 hours or more weekly on academic work are three times more likely to have As compared to students who spend 20 hours or less weekly on academic work. Researchers agree that active involvement is the most important factor that determines success in college.

While this sounds like bad news for part-time students, all hope is not lost. Effective time management can help you get a lot more out of your time; it also helps if you wake up earlier and work on college activities first thing in the morning. Researchers have found that the most early hours of the day are the most productive for most people.

  1. Develop Your Writing Skills

One of the most important skills you can develop to help you succeed in college is your writing skill. Not only will this make it much easier for you to write required essays, but it will also make your other assignments easier.

Research has linked writing and journaling with an improvement in communication skills (even verbal skills!). Researchers have also found that trying to explain a concept — either by writing or verbally — reveals our understanding of the concept, helping us discover and work on knowledge gaps.

You can develop your writing skills in numerous ways: take a formal writing training, use online resources to learn how to write, set up a blog, and make it a daily practice to write.

  1. Effectively Utilize College Resources

Very few students utilize college resources, but research has found that college resources impact student success to a great extent. A particular review of over 2,500 studies concluded that, “The impact of college is not simply the result of what a college does for or to a student. Rather, the impact is a result of the extent to which an individual student exploits the people, programs, facilities, opportunities, and experiences that the college makes available.”

Utilizing college resources was found to be especially effective if done in the first year of college. Make effective use of library resources, academic support services and experiential learning resources to increase your chances of success in college.


John Stevens is an entrepreneur and founder of HostingFacts.com, an online portal that reviews web hosts. He is a regular contributor to Standford’s blog, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and other major publications. Follow him on Twitter @hostingfactsj


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

How Many Times Should You Take The GRE And When Should You Start? Reply

how-many-times-should-youThese days, many students are realizing that submitting GRE scores is a part of the graduate school application process. With this reality in mind, you may be wondering when you should start preparing for the GRE and how many times you should take it. Review the short outline below to obtain answers to these questions and more:

It’s Never Too Soon To Start

If you’re wondering when you should begin preparing for the GRE, know that it’s never too soon to start. Familiarizing yourself with the format and content of the exam can alleviate test anxiety and empower you to attain a higher score. As such, it’s a good idea to get started immediately. Luckily, there are a wide range of learning resources at your disposal. For example, companies like ETS, Barron, Peterson’s and Kaplan provide a wide range of test prep material you can use to study for the Verbal, Math, and Written components of the exam.

Taking online courses in the fields of English, Math, and Writing is another technique you can implement to prepare for the exam. If you’ve already obtained your bachelor’s in English, you may want to consider completing an online masters computer science program. This can make you a more competitive candidate for a grad school program while also sharpening your reasoning skills.

How Many Times Should You Take The GRE?

Before you decide how many times you should take the GRE, consider the following facts:

  • You can take the computer-based test once every 21 days.
  • You may take the GRE up to five times within one year.
  • If you cancel your GRE scores, the test that you took still counts towards the five annual test dates.

There are several reasons why an individual might want to take the GRE again or several times. Generally, the reason pertains to the score. In some cases, an individual might not have had sufficient time to prepare for the exam. When this happens, a substandard score may be the unwanted outcome. If you know that the score you’ve obtained is below the average score that individuals admitted into the learning institution attained, it’s definitely a good idea to retake the exam.

Keep in mind that you can take the GRE as many times as you want and submit your highest scores to the college in question. However, if you’re taking the test over and over to try to attain a perfect score, keep in mind that the GRE is not the only component of your application process. You’ll also want to concentrate on other critical elements like your letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, curriculum vitae, writing sample, etc.

If you’re serious about acing the GRE so that you can get into your dream school, now is the time to start studying. Review the information and instructions found in this quick reference guide to get on the path to an excellent score today!


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Living in your first apartment: Life off campus versus life on campus Reply

Late Night StudyYou’re all settled into your first apartment. The mattress topper miraculously fit through the door, all your clothes made it into a new closet and you’re plastering your walls with photos of friends and mementos of campus events from last year. After all the hours you’ve spent moving into your first off campus location, your stomach grumbles and you think, “Oh, time to go to the dining ha—oh, right.”

What changed?

In short, off-campus life carries with it a set of responsibilities that may have been irrelevant to think about when you lived on campus. Universities typically support students housed on campus in every possible way by supplying them with essentials, mainly so that students only need to worry about their studies. The moment you switch to an off-campus apartment situation, you’re more independent from your university and a few aspects of life become a bit more prominent.

  1. Having to care about bus times

Back when you were an on-campus student, you may have had the luxury of being oblivious in terms of when city buses come up to your campus bus stops. Since all the city buses ultimately lead downtown in most college towns, you may have just hopped on whatever bus number showed up outside your residence hall. Now that you’re an off-campus student, you have to care about bus numbers and bus arrival times.

Most students don’t have their own cars, or if they do, their university might not have the most parking spaces in the world. Maybe those several hundred-dollar parking permits aren’t looking so good to your wallet. If you do rely on buses to navigate through town, living off campus will mean you have to plot out the best routes to use to get from your place to class in time.

  1. Grocery shopping and cooking for yourself

Most universities still allow off-campus students to purchase a 5-day or 7-day meal plan, but you’ll find it much less convenient to use any on-campus dining halls anyway if you live in an off-campus apartment. This means you’ll have to budget your money and time so that you’ll have plenty of good food each day, and you may start packing a lunch and some snacks to take up to campus each day.

If you’re not ready to cook for yourself completely just yet, you might consider inquiring with campus dining services about a modified meal plan that gives you a set number of meals per term. If, however, off-campus living signifies a need to provide all of your own food, make a plan for when you’ll hit the grocery store each week and how you’ll transport groceries home.

  1. Making more intentional efforts to stay updated on campus activities

If you’re a very involved student on campus who works many jobs and is in many organizations, you may realize from moving off campus that it’s now a lot harder to make weekend meetings or evening study sessions at the library when you no longer live within five minutes walking distance of all campus facilities. This may mean factoring more travel time into your schedule to arrive at your commitments on time.

Additionally, living off campus may make it harder for you to access community events and functions on campus. The reality is proximity to every event is a luxury on-campus students have, but off-campus students can still attend campus functions as long as they remember to stay updated on what’s going on.

Off-campus students may not see all the flyers at campus bus stops for the ‘90s dance party happening in the main lawn, or they might not hear about the annual activism conference happening next Saturday. This means off-campus students should follow social media pages run by their university and check campus event calendars regularly to avoid missing anything exciting. Sometimes off-campus students might coordinate carpools or offer rides to other off-campus students to make commuting easier.

  1. Reduced access to all of your friends at once

The beauty of living on campus lies in the access you have to all your friends living in the same building or even on the same floor as you. You never run out of people to visit when you live on campus because most students in your grade level are housed together, creating a close-knit feeling of support and community.

The switch to off-campus living means you’ll have to explicitly plan when to hang out with certain friends, because chances are some of your friends have also moved off campus. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because living off campus often grants you more space to spend time with others, but you’ll find you have to put more of an effort into setting up hangout dates with people who used to be your next-door neighbors on campus.

While it does carry with it its own challenges, off-campus living can provide students with a healthy amount of independence they might not have had when living in the on-campus residence halls.


By Julia Dunn, Uloop News. Visit uloop.com for more college news and to search for off-campus housing, tutors near campus, jobs for college students, and more.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Take the PSAT in your Freshman or Sophomore Year Reply

Pretty student doing homework

The Preliminary SAT, or PSAT is a test that most take in their junior year. It is however available to take as a freshman or sophomore if you wish to take it and it can be taken multiple times. If you are like most students, the prospect of taking yet another standardized test not appealing. There are already many tests to take, especially in your junior and senior year. This one, though, might be worth your time. Here are two compelling reasons to take the PSAT at least once in your first two years of high school.

The National Merit Scholarship Program

When you take your PSAT as a junior, you are also taking the qualifying test for the opportunity to win a National Merit Scholarship award. This award can be substantial and some colleges have set aside additional scholarship money for the winners of the scholarship if you attend their institution. Only those with the highest scores on the PSAT are eligible to win the scholarship, so you can imagine that there is some considerable competition. That being said, many students who take the test see it only as preparation for the SAT. Those who take the time to prepare for the PSAT will have an advantage and will be more likely to get a high score.

One of the best ways to prepare is to actually take the test. If you take the test as a freshman or sophomore, then you’ll know your score and you’ll know what parts of the test that you should work to improve. Plus, when you take the test that counts toward the scholarship you’ll be experienced at taking it.

Preparing to take the SAT

The SAT test can be one of the most stressful aspects of your senior year, which is already a very stressful and busy time. Your SAT score is used, among other things, to determine whether or not you will be admitted into a college. A great SAT score expands your choice of prospective schools, and a poor score can limit that choice.

Anything you can do to prepare for the SAT test will do two things: It will reduce your stress level when it comes time to take the test, and it will give you a better chance of doing really well on the test. Luckily, the SAT is very similar to the PSAT. If you take the PSAT as a freshman or sophomore, then you’ll know what you need to work on to do better. When you take your PSAT as a junior, you’ll have already practiced the test once or twice and you can use your scores on the PSAT to really focus your SAT Prep. There are many ways to prepare for the SAT, but all of them work better if you know what you need to focus on.

Taking the PSAT early gives you the opportunity to reduce your stress level later on and could end up giving you some scholarship money as well. Why wouldn’t you do some of your study and preparation in your first two years of high school if it could make things easier in your last two years of high school and help you get the best scores possible?

Read more about the PSAT on www.petersons.com.

Your Social Profile and Your Career Reply

Kiev, Ukraine - January 11, 2016: Background of famous social media icons such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Linkedin, Tumblr, Myspace and others, printed on paper.

Repeat after me:

All of social media matters. Facebook. Flickr. Instagram. Pinterest. Medium. Linkedin. Snap Chat. Twitter. Vimeo. YouTube. These sites and others are important in a job search. Without the boring, parental or punitive tone, let’s quickly explore why. Over the last few years social media has become more of a factor in candidates being excluded from consideration.

And even if ones’ profile is password protected, I’ve seen that go south rather quickly. Having supported some of the best brands on the planet, it is not foreign to request login credentials. Worst, there are websites that archive social media traffic and portray your digital contributions and pictures oftentimes unknowingly.  I know that cruel internet.

All things considered, this is a critical time for you. You, your parents and other family members have invested resources and time in this educational journey. All of such so that you might secure a fantastic new role with a promising organization. The last thing you’d want is to be denied consideration based on your social media footprint. Let’s rethink your next post.

So before you fire off that resume or pop up for the next scheduled interview, let’s assume everything can and/or will be seen by the person you are scheduled to meet. As a Recruiter, I put each candidate through a quick social media forensic exercise. Here’s what we look for:

Linkedin

  • Photo should be clean, professional, visible – captured via camera if possible
  • Profile should be complete, include details, and paint a picture of who you are
  • Contact information of some sort should be visible – a social media handle or other

Instagram

  • Post pictures that are not offensive or frowned upon by the employer
  • Be conscious of who you follow and or whose pictures you “like” in the process
  • Algorithms are always tweaked too the advantage of the host – not you – be mindful

Twitter

  • Measure your emotion in those 140 characters – don’t always hit send (immediately)
  • Use tools to distribute thoughtful updates and filter questionable content
  • Respect that social recruiting (follows, hashtags, likes, etc) are methods of finding you

Soundcloud

  • Record a crisp introduction to be shared via email/social media with employers
  • Briefly cover defining characteristics, an impact example(s) and contact information
  • Separate yourself from the average job seeker that sits at a keyboard and hits enter

I’m not suggesting you can’t have fun, or post incredible pictures from an office party, or holiday weekend. In fact, I encourage that. I’m asking that you reconsider if the post or tweet will have any potential impact on your mission. I’m suggesting to you that as a recruiter, I’m able to uncover more about you with your email address than you might know.

I’m saying think twice – tweet that. Truth is, a part of your brand will be created through your decision to say no. Progress require a critical injection of confidence and an elevated level of awareness beyond these artificial boundaries of acceptance established by others. Try this slogan: I’m comfortable is the old 20!


About Torin Ellis:

Human Capital Strategist // Interview Architect // Diversity Maverick // Engaging and high spirited. Creative, high voltage, ready to pursue results. Author of Rip The Resume available on petersons.com and where books are sold.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.